Wilco @ Yale’s Spring Fling

Is it just me, or does releasing a double live CD/DVD combo after only one studio album seem a bit… excessive? (I’m referring, of course, to the new live release from Star One, Arjen Lucassen’s latest project.)

I recently got back from a live show by Wilco, who played at Yale’s annual (and usually really lame) Spring Fling. They were pretty freakin great. I only have two of their albums, Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (well, and the new EP that they released on their website). I got the former many years ago and hated it, and haven’t listened to it since; but the latter was last year’s indie-critic darling, and with good reason. Wilco’s music is often termed “alt-country”, which I understand (possibly incorrectly) to mean that they have some roots in country music, but have extended their style to include rock and other elements. On Yankee Hotel Foxtrot their melancholy yet catchy tunes are offset by a fair amount of experimentation and even outright noise, so I was curious to see how the Yale crowd would react.

Well, there are a lot of indie-rockers at Yale (and all of them work at the radio station). So there was a sizable and fairly enthusiastic crowd. And even after some of the lengthier instrumental freakouts - some of which I thought were awesome, especially one particularly out-there guitar solo - there was a good amount of applause. I was moderately surprised, and glad that people seemed to be enjoying the show as much as I was. I liked the set a lot - they played for quite a while, almost two hours, and did most of the songs off of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a few from the new EP, and some older stuff that I didn’t recognize (except for the one song I seem to remember not disliking from Being There, “Misunderstood”). Good stuff.

A friend of mine here is a huge Wilco fan. She sent out some lyrics through e-mail before the show, and I’m glad she did. I’d never really heard them before, despite liking the song, which is a shame, because they’re beautiful -

don’t cry
you can rely on me honey
you can come by any time you want
i’ll be around
you were right about the stars
each one is a setting sun

tall buildings shake
voices escape singing sad sad songs
tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
bitter melodies turning your orbit around

Wilco, “Jesus, etc.”

I don’t have much to say about them, I just agree that they’re worth sharing…

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